I’ve been hearing about how great Divan Turkish Kitchen is for quite some time. I happened to be in the neighborhood the other weekend, so I stopped by to check-out what all the noise was about. First – they obviously specialize in meat. While there are some vegetarian options, most rave review focus on their meat selections. We started with a warm eggplant and green pepper dish, bread, and oil. Serviceable, but nothing to write home about.
We had a wonderful, very accommodating waiter. He told us that his favorite appetizer was the Turkish Sigar Borek, thin puff pastry “cigars” wrapped around feta cheese and parsley. It was a nice, simple appetizer, but lacked any real pizzaz.
My favorite dish of the evening was the Ispanakli Kayseri Manti – tiny homemade spinach dumplings, steamed and served in a garlic, yogurt and mint sauce with just a splash of red pepper oil. The flavors were just about perfect together, and it was a well-thought-out, delicious and filling dish.
My date, on the other hand, had a more disappointing entree. He ordered the Turkish Falafel, and as you can see it was just a few giant falafel balls on a large bed of hummus. No veggies, not pita, to accompaniment. At $10-$14, it was pricey and disappointing.
And yes, the prices vary. If you pay in cash, you get a 10% “discount” but if you pay in credit or debit, you have to pay the higher price. And while many people are pleased by their cocktails specials and BYOB status, we found when we arrived on a Saturday night that they charge a $10 corkage fee on weekends. I loath corkage fees and basically consider them to be legal extortion – especially when they only apply to certain days of the week.
We had a pleasant meal at Divan and wonderful service, but there were just a few too many rules and snafus for us to feel like it was a great meal or a great deal. If you live in the neighborhood, can remember all the rules and eat meat, this may be the place for you, but I doubt I will be back.
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